Find Your Voice

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Do you struggle finding your voice? Do you feel pressured into saying yes when inside you’re really screaming NOOOOO!
Do you say yes out of pressures or not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings? Do you complain and dread that you ever said yes to something? Do you make yourself miserable or compromise your integrity trying to get out of that dreadful yes you didn’t really mean?
Do you feel aggravated or upset at people or their actions? Do you get on the phone telling all your girlfriends about all your frustrations, but never address it directly with the person that upset you or hurt your feelings? Do you have a problem setting boundaries?
I love Joyce Meyer. She does not sugar coat anything. She talks about overcoming all these areas and so much more in real, sound, biblical ways. She has really been instrumental in my spiritual transformation over the years.
One of her books that really helped me years ago was Approval Addiction. I always thought of myself as a person that really could give a rat’s behind what other people thought, but I actually did all those things I just described above. I couldn’t find my true voice for most of my life. I took all my frustrations to others or out on others. I filled my friends and families ears with all my frustrations, instead of taking it all to Jesus. What Joyce means by “Take it to the Throne instead of the Phone”
I was horrible at setting boundaries too. I constantly let others poop in my yard till I got the courage to put up good fences. If they got through my fence, I got good at asking them to pick up and take their poop with them. (That is another amazing message by Momma Joyce on boundaries that I highly recommend)
I was a stuffer. I stuffed my emotions for many years. I stuffed with food, shopping, and one compulsion after another. When I got so full from the stuffing my words and emotions, I finally erupted in anger. I would blow and everyone around me better take cover. I did not blow very much when I was younger, but when emotional stuffing and hormones and being a mother of twins got all mixed up together, it was like all the ingredients needed for a Mt. St. Helens type of blow. I am so thankful for recovery and Jesus. I still work the steps of recovering to this day.
Growing up I did not feel that I had the right to express my opinions if they differed from what I witnessed in those of authority around me. To disagree was to be hostile. To have your own opinion apart from others meant you had lost your ever loving mind. I remember having a differing opinion from my grandmother growing up and getting slapped across the face for it. I learned early on to get comfortable just going with the flow and pleasing others. I got real good at keeping it all inside and was not able to find my voice for far too long. It wasn’t until going with the flow and not expressing my true feelings almost killed me. I felt like a powder keg about ready to explode most days, and most days I did blow! I started to resent others because I could not find my voice or set boundaries effectively. I was stressed out and ready to run far far away from it all. Fear kept me drowning in a sea of debt and food and misery.
Only God was able to take all that dysfunction and restore and transform it into something beautiful. His Spirit and His word will transform us if we let it.
A verse that speaks to me is Matthew 5:37;
“Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.” Matthew 5:37 NLT.
As a talker, that verse is not one that is very easy for me. I still have to surrender my words and mouth to God to let my words be worthy and few daily. Some days I am better at this and some day’s not so much. It is a learning and growing process. You can bet the more you focus on certain areas the more slip ups in that area you will experience. The evil one likes to use our words a lot.
It is a testing and purification process of ourselves making us to become more Christ like. God can use it all for His Glory if we let Him, but first we have to surrender our control and our mouth to Him. Only the Holy Spirit can work it all out through us if we let Him have His way.

When we can’t find our words, take comfort in these Promises!

I am the LORD your God, the one who brought you out of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. ~ Psalm 81:10 GWT
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. ~ Colossians 4:6 NIV
Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say. ~ Exodus 4:12 NIV
May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and in His grace gave us unfailing courage and a firm hope, encourage you and strengthen you always to do and say what is good. (2 Thessalonians 2:16, 17 GNB)

If we take all our words and situations to God and ask Him to fill our mouth, we will be much better at saying:
I am sorry; I don’t have peace about that so I don’t believe that is God’s will for me.
No, that doesn’t work for me.
Let me pray about that and get back to you.
Yes, that works for me.
Yes, I would love to help you.
Yes, I will
No, I won’t
Yes
No
Or whatever else He needs us to say!

Lord, help me to release every situation to You before I respond. Your ways and words are perfect Father. Open my mouth and fill it with what You will have me say. Forgive me for going against the rhythms of Your peace and perfect will. Teach me Your ways of setting the appropriate boundaries I need to. Forgive me for running off at my mouth. Show me areas I have built up bitterness and resentments that need to be released and help me to let them go. Forgive me for bypassing Your Throne and running to the phone. Let me see every situation as an opportunity to grow in Christ. May my words be worthy, truthful, and few. Let my Yes be Yes and my No be No. I thank You for changing me and helping me to find the right words and boundaries that help me flourish in this life. Transform me and restore me Lord. May my words always be seasoned with Your Love. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

~XXOO, Michelle Bollom

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All Good In The Hood

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Hey Hey We’re the Monkees

What if we looked at every circumstance that daily comes our way as an opportunity to discover something new rather than an interruption or an annoyance!

For example, yesterday I received a package in the mail from Amazon. Yes, I am working on that not happening so often!!! I opened it up with great expectation to see which book had arrived. To my dismay it was a Spanish version of the book I had ordered. I only know two words in Spanish, chips and salsa! Ha!
I was frustrated at myself for ordering the wrong book and wasting money. Interrupted because I have to reorder the correct version and wait longer. I started complaining to every family member around me that would not walk away into another room.
I thought okay Lord here is an interruption. I call them unexpecteds. Yes, it is small and kinda of trivial in the whole scheme of life!!! This was a “not paying attention to details” mistake. I’m a professional at that.

My mom had the privilege of being the representative this morning to hear my complaint. She wasn’t aware she answered the service line of dissatisfied customers. The ones who order the wrong version of books. All she said was, “Nothing happens by accident!”.

So with that being said, I am going to be on the lookout and ask this question.

How can I take my upside down and turn it around?

Now that is kingdom thinking! That is definitely not normal or natural. It is a way of thinking that could possibly lead to some abnormal discoveries and future adventures.

Ahhhh! I think I just got an idea who could use my upside down and it be turned around. 😘 (not telling)

What does God say about all this?
Who didn’t memorize this verse growing up?? Of course it was in the KJV version.

Romans 8:28
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

I can’t stop there. We have to compare it to my translation of the week,
Check it out!
It’s so good you gotta catch a couple verses before it!!

Romans 8:28The Message (MSG)

26-28 Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

If you need something to help you remember. Pull off your old records from the shelf. (or just YouTube the song)

Hey, hey, we’re the Monkees
And people say we monkey around.
But we’re too busy singing
To put anybody down.
Replace last line with:
(Turning everything around) *your new words to help you

Light On,
Kelley Allison
John1:4-5

The Strongest of Bonds

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Growing up I’m pretty sure me and my sisters shared everything. Toys, clothes, shoes, a record player, make-up, a bathroom, a bedroom and even a bed at one time or another. If one person got candy from the store you better not bring it in the house unless there was enough for everyone. It’s just the way things were. As we got older we fought a lot and hated the fact that we had to share clothes. After a good fight Mama always made us hug and say I love you. I always hated that. “I love you” doesn’t sound very nice coming out through gritted teeth.
I will tell you this; we could always count on each other to keep one another’s secrets and not to laugh at the other’s dreams. Sometimes we would all lay on the floor with pillows and blankets just talking. Some things got so funny, the giggling would get out of hand and we would laugh so hard it caused someone to pee their pants. So, as with any of the other hilarious but top secret moments, we would just add them to the pile of “un-tell able” stories that we still keep locked up as safe as the last entry I made in my diary with the tiny silver key.

I can remember on that same floor with those same pillows and blankets we
loved to play “switch”. It’s a game where we would all lay down in a row. Scratching each others backs. Then someone said “switch” (usually me) and we’d all roll over, swap sides and keep scratching. My boys remember playing “switch” when they were little too. That’s when I started explaining to them how lucky they were to have each other. To share toys with and to look after. I still to this day remind them that even on their worst day they have to look out for each other. I’ve said since they were small “If you see your bother in trouble you jump in feet first and help him out. We can ask questions later, just don’t let your brother get hurt” I remember telling them years ago “If I ever have to go to the office to pick one of y’all up for getting into a fight with somebody…I better see all 3 of you sitting side by side waiting to be picked up when I get there.”
We grew up a little rough and tough and that’s ok. I learned a lot that way. I married in to a much calmer way of handling things. Doug and I still use both ways to teach the boys life lessons.
My sisters and I still share everything. But it’s the more important stuff like “how to deal with teenagers” or the “what I did’s” that mean the most. We still laugh a lot and we lean on each other just like mama said we would. And that we share the strongest of bonds full of laughter and love. My sisters know my faults and love me anyway.
One thing about family ….. No matter how big the mess gets or how much “trouble” you get each other into, they are stuck with you. Just like the saying “Blood is thicker than water.”
So, when the dust settles and it always does, your family may not like you at that moment, they still love you.
They’ve got to….You’re family.

Well Jesus loves you and me even more than that. And because we belong to Him the trials and troubles of this life will someday pass away. One sweet day we will all be one big family in the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus paid the ultimate price. Our debt was paid in full when He jumped in feet first to save us. He didn’t ask questions. All we have to do is accept it, leave the old ‘you’ and follow Him. He knows your secrets. He knows your mistakes. He knows you and loves you anyway.
His blood was the thickest and His arms are stretched out reaching for you. His “I love you” would never be said thru gritted teeth. His voice will be the sweetest sound we’ve ever heard.
Now that’s something worth sharing!!
Go share the good news!

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

~ Susan Q. Bailey

Big Sam

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About 5 years ago, I was introduced to a dirty, furry angel. He showed up one day at our back door, wearing only a collar that said “Sam”. He was huge and looked a little scruffy around the edges for such a beautiful Golden Retriever, definitely not what one would expect when thinking of the breed standard. He stood by the back door, pawing it firmly and panting, all while wearing a goofy doggy smile. This gentle giant walked right into our hearts that day. He was looking for treats and love. I think I would be hard-pressed to decide which one he wanted more.

The first time Big Sam showed up, I decided just to pet him, as he seemed very friendly. Whew! Was he ever stinky! Seems his owners had a different view of a dog’s care than the rest of our neighbors did. They had acreage and let their animals be 100% outside “ranch dogs”, roaming free, hunting, chasing whatever moved and bathing in the ditch water. Not a bad way to go if you’re a dog, but hard to invite into your well-groomed human existence. My husband, children and I started “visiting” with Big Sam outside on the patio. I got the sense that, at some point, Sam must have been an “only” dog, living his life inside with the company of children and beloved by all. His life seemed to have taken a turn somewhere though. At some point, he was put outside and told to fend for himself with little outside intervention. As time progressed, he seemed dirtier, hungrier and more and more in need of someone to love on him. So we did. And not just us. As the other neighborhood moms and I talked at the bus stop, we began to realize that he had a circuit of homes in our neighborhood he would visit on Saturday mornings. Food and love? Check. Next house: food and love? Check. And so it went…

We soon discovered there were more Goldens on the neighbor’s property than just Big Sam. Maybe word got out when he started coming back standing a little taller, looking flush from his time cleaning out all our refrigerators. The next time he showed up, he brought along a beautiful female, Shelby. At least that is what her collar said. A sweeter dog you will never meet. She and Sam would both close their eyes in ecstasy when you would pet their heads. They made a great team, each taking turns for petting and eating and charming us. Then came Maxie. A slender female, who though very skittish and certainly none too bright, was very sweet in her own way. We are forever grateful that we met Big Sam, because through a series of God-inspired events, my neighbor and I each ended up with one of Big Sam’s puppies.

We named ours “Lulu”. If you had walked through the first few years of her life with me, you would not judge me for her name. Yes, you guessed it. My puppy was Maxie’s daughter. Those times when I would get so exasperated with her, she would sense that she had better turn on the charm…quickly…and would flash me that “Big Sam” smile and snuggle in my neck. I would immediately soften and forgive her for her latest (hourly) offense. Running away chasing squirrels instead of coming to me when I gave her the “come” training command? Yup. Sitting down and refusing to move when she was asked to walk beside me like she had been taught? Yup. I was only wanting to take her down the street on an excursion to see her friends, the other neighborhood dogs, and chase the ducks at the pond, for Pete’s sake! And I was giving her treats along the way! Would she even pretend to cooperate? Nope. There were many days I did the “walk of shame” where I took this dog for a walk and ended up having to carry her home because she staged a sit-in, from fear (school buses are scary), stubbornness or exhaustion. It seemed to be intentionally timed to happen at the most inconvenient time or place, with the biggest audience for maximum impact. I won’t forget that one neighbor’s droll comments as I walked down the street with her in my arms: “Nice to see you out walking the dog.” Or “How’s that training class working out?” Sigh! The days when she chased down the squirrels? Of course, she came back so black with mud, you could usually only see her eyes.

Sorry if this makes you bristle at the elementary comparison, but when I took the time to ponder this whole Big Sam / Lulu life-lesson I was given, though, I was kind of amazed. Think about it with me: Time after time, I act like Lulu. God is trying to get me trained. I need to know and understand the authority of His voice. It is for my own good and safety that I understand His commands are for my good and they are laced with fun times and treats to encourage me in obedience. The squirrels I choose to chase, well those are just what they sound like. Distractions that lead me away from the best that my Master has for me. Fun? Sometimes, but the consequences of having to apologize, repent and be restored again, not so much. As for that walking business: You see, Jesus has perfectly planned and timed my walk with Him. On the days I am fearful of things I encounter in my daily walk, Jesus reaches out to calm and reassure me that He is walking next to me and that He will let nothing truly harm me. He may use situations to teach me. Much like I did when I made Lulu assume a sit/stay pose at the end of our driveway while the school bus drove past her down the street. I was trying to make her realize that there was nothing to fear and while she obeyed me, nothing could harm her. The days I am too stubborn, He gently encourages me through His character of patience. He soothes and distracts me from my bad, non-cooperative mood by sending a friend to speak kindly and give me that undeserved pat on the back of encouragement. The best part is that when I find myself too exhausted from chasing all those squirrels, He lovingly picks me up and walks with me in His arms the rest of the way home, to a place He has prepared for my rest.

The best part of meeting Big Sam? His legacy. We were never sure what happened to him. One day, he just stopped coming as frequently, then never came back. We moved shortly thereafter. We sure do miss him, but every now and then, Lulu will cock her head just so and smile at us…just like Big Sam. Or close her eyes in adoration when we pet her…just like Big Sam. Those times melt my heart because I love to see Big Sam in Lulu. I love it when her actions mimic the gentleness he displayed. I love it when I see that same goofy doggy smile looking back at me. I even love it when she is having so much fun that she gets a little muddy and I have to clean up her paws. (Shhh! Don’t tell my kids!) It always involves me having to dry her off with a towel, which ends up with me hugging her.

I have to think that the full circle of this lesson is that in the same way I love to see Big Sam in Lulu, God loves it when He catches a glimpse of Jesus in us. How thrilling for God to see His adopted children displaying the same characteristics as His firstborn! How wonderful for Him to see the kindness and gentleness radiating from us, as we grow into the character of His son. How satisfying for Him to see that the fruit of His training has been worth it as we walk in obedience beside Him, sensitive to His desires and commands for us. At the center of His heart is the desire for our good. And He doesn’t even mind cleaning us up. His clean-up always involves a hug, too. He is a good Master. Let us not forget where we came from, how much He loves and cares for our needs and that His instructions are GOOD!

Sit. Stay. Wait…Leave it! Go! Get ‘em! Come here. Go home.

Psalm 95:6-8

Come, let us bow down and worship him! Let us kneel before the Lord who made us. He is our God, and we are the people he cares for, his sheep that walk by his side. Listen to his voice today: Don’t be stubborn…

1 John 4:18

Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love takes away fear. It is his punishment that makes a person fear. So his love is not made perfect in the one who has fear.
Isaiah 64:6 a

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like a filthy rag;

1 John 1:7

We should live in the light, where God is. If we live in the light, we have fellowship with each other, and the blood sacrifice of Jesus, God’s Son, washes away every sin and makes us clean.

Genesis 22:18

Every nation on the earth will be blessed through your descendants. I will do this because you obeyed me.”

Free

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Gals!!! & (Guys) -He has set us FREE from so much!

I know we hear that all the time, but those of us that have truly been set free from an addiction, negative thinking, old patterns, habits, insecurity, people- pleasing…WHATEVER…
We truly know what it means to be free!!

The cool thing is we get the CHOICE and the excitement to choose freedom and feel more and more free EVERY SINGLE day! Yea!

I’m speaking for myself here, there are areas in my life where I still feel like one foot is stuck in my old thinking or behavior, and the other is free…
BUT, oh the DIVINE BUT,
I have the hope and power to choose each and every day otherwise!

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. ~ Galatians 5:1 NIV

~ Stephanie Wanic
#godsbeautysecrets #beautyqueenwisdom

Follow @HisBeautySecrets on Twitter!

You Have The Control

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I love Soap Operas! I watched two for about 35 years. The Young and the Restless and Guiding Light. I watched a few others over the years, but those two were my top favorites. I did not just watch daytime soaps, oh I loved a good night time soap too. Melrose Place, Dawson’s Creek, Beverly Hills 90210, Knots Landing, and of course Dallas (the classic and the new one.) I was hooked on the shows Weeds, The L Word, Nip Tuck, and a Danish drama Borgen. I watched all sorts of movies and read all sorts of books and listened to all sorts of music. I never filtered what I watched, listened to, or said.
Several years ago the Lord began dealing with me on the importance of being mindful in what I hear, see, and speak.
First, He dealt with me on secular music. If it was not a song singing about partying, drinking, sex, drugs, or pining after an old lover it was singing about sadness, cheating, anger and revenge. I had sort of a wakeup call on two different situations with my kids. A neighbor kid and my son wanted to do a talent show with a certain song. I went to my computer to print out the lyrics and in reading them I was shocked at what the words said. Here I had been singing it and allowing my kids to sing the lyrics. I explained to them that we had to choose a different song. When my son and his friend read it they were creeped out that they had been singing those words.
I know over the years I was guilty of liking a song by a good beat that I never paid attention to the words of the song. People would tell me the meaning to the song and I would be shocked at what it was saying. I too would get creeped out.
The second wakeup call is when my beautiful daughter was sitting at the breakfast table belting out the song: Ahhh Me so Horny!. I about choked on my coffee that morning. I rushed to the table to inquire what she thought that song meant. She had no idea what the word meant, she just liked the beat of the music. When I explained the meaning she burst into tears. I asked where she heard that song sang and she said Daddy had a cd in his car that they found and were playing. I knew the CD well and knew the rest of that CD too, and it was not what you want your children to hear. For years after I would try to guard my kids ears from certain music, but I still allowed myself to listen to it. God started opening my ears to what the words were saying and I became so uncomfortable singing or listening to secular songs, so I started to listen to Worship music. I found that the words were enriching and restoring and renewing to my soul. I prefer to listen to music that Exalts God and brings much peace to my soul. When I control it in my home, car and around my kids, it makes for better kiddos too.
Then God revealed through a friend that I had the movie rating system backwards. I thought it was G, PG13, PG, R, X….and so forth. It is PG then PG 13, Then R, by the way. I had allowed my pre-teens to watch PG13 movies thinking it meant up to 13. I would always get that nervous laugh and become uncomfortable during the sexual innuendo parts while viewing with my kiddos, but I did not really pay attention to all the cursing. I cursed like a sailor and I would say the classic line, do as I say, not as I do. God had not fully begun to deal with me on my mouth yet.
One time my son came to me and I remember he asked if he could just cuss at home. That he liked to cuss too. As funny as I thought it was at the time, it was really sad. Sometimes you just can’t unlearn those mistakes as a parent you made, but God, thankfully He chose to redeem me and can change my kids too.
I even allowed my kids to watch some R movies at the persuasion of others that said they were not so bad. Big mistake. Once a child sees one R rated movie, they will not want to watch any G movies. They will love to brag to their friends and remind everyone in ear shot that you; yep you that big bad momma let them watch Wedding Crashers and the Hangover. I thought they could just un see what they had seen, but God started showing me that you can’t. I knew I had to set the example and not watch those types of movies around them either. It became so miserable that I could barely watch any movies myself. They were all so violent, with just horrible language (worse than mine) and so much vile abuse and sex and nudity and demonic activity. It would stay with me for days and I just felt yuck after seeing them. God started dealing with me and my TV shows too. I read this verse one day and knew it was my confirmation to guard what we were watching.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! ~ Matthew 6:22-23 NIV
I gave up many many shows. I still held on to a few and I would replace some with some not so bad, I would catch up on Netflix when my kids were not around, and finally I surrendered and gave them all up. This verse really sealed the deal for me.
I will not set anything worthless before my eyes. I hate the practice of transgression; it will not cling to me. ~ Psalm 101:3 HCSB
I wanted to be obedient to Him more then I wanted to know if Nick got back with Sharon and left Phyllis. I did not want to lay awake at night wondering and replaying those story lines waiting for the next season to start or be so bummed by the cliff hangers. It actually caused me stress and to feel anxious. I wanted peace to reign in myself, my family and in my home. Those types of shows bring strife and negativity into your home.
People did not really understand my decisions. Some even thought I was a little crazy to give up TV, movies, and secular music. I wanted to cleanse my mind, my ears, eyes, and words. Those things make deposits into our soul. When we are blaring bad music or bad television shows and movies in our homes, cars, etc. we are affecting our atmospheres. It is like walking around blindly at a dog park and thinking you won’t step in some doody. It clings to you! I do not want anything to cling to me or my kiddos. They will see enough on their own, so we have a responsibility to control when and what we can.
I wanted to practice living out this verse and have it come to life in my life and my children’s life.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. ~ Philippians 4:8 NLT

Lastly, God wanted me to be that little monkey with my hand over my mouth. He wanted to make sure that I understood that words have power. Words can heal or hurt; they can bring down or build up. They can bring life or death. For far too many years I have just opened my mouth and blurted out whatever I felt like. I would grumble and complain and not realize that I was speaking those negative things to be in my life. The mouth verses that really opened my eyes (and closed my mouth more) were:
And I tell you this; you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. ~ Matthew 12:36 NLT
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. ~ Ephesians 4:29 NLT
I can’t expect my teenagers or husband to clean up their negative unworthy words if I am speaking unworthy words myself. If we have to give account for our idle words at judgment day, oh my! We have a lot of splaining to do Lucy!
The codeword in our house is Worthy Words now and we take the Ephesians 4:29 challenge often when we are beginning to let our mouths slip. I am not perfect. I slip up still. I love that God grants me grace. I also can grant grace to those people not living a life based on my same Biblical world view. God has to deal with each one on His terms, not mine. It is easy to slip so that is why God tells us:
Don’t let anyone deceive you. Associating with bad (people) will ruin decent people. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:33 GWT
I don’t want to be deceived or ruined. I am learning to excuse myself from those unworthy conversations and groups of people and not be drawn into gossip. I am learning to surround myself with people that understand and respect that I live by a Biblical World View and that is how I choose to raise my children. I am comfortable getting up and walking out of a movie or the room if someone is playing something I don’t have peace about. I also am learning to keep my hand over my mouth until I let the Lord fill it. I am able to speak up when someone uses the GD word around me and let them know that is NOT God’s name and is offensive to me. I can disagree with someone’s lifestyle and choices but still love them as a person. I am getting better at not letting the F Bomb drop and my old favorite word Dammit does not bring me comfort and peace nearly as being obedient to God does. We cannot be all God wants us to be if we are filling ourselves up with junk and not guarding our ears, eyes, and mouth.
Like the parental controls we set on our TV and computers, our Heavenly Father is setting parental controls for us in His Word, The Bible.
The ole “Monkey See Monkey Do” saying is so true. What sermon will you be preaching with your words and actions?
I want myself, my home and my family to See no evil, Hear no evil, and Speak no evil. I want us to be so filled with the word and presence of God that we shine and pour out Jesus to all we come in contact with. God is the Great Restorer and Transformer. His Word has amazing power! Let Him speak to you on the areas of your life that He is calling you to come up higher in. Whatever He asks you to lie down, rest assured it is because He has something much better in store for you and your future.
~ XXOO Michelle Bollom

Your Child’s Identity

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What is your mommy purpose?

Is it to survive the day? Shower before nap time? To have a clean house?
To make your kid eat veggies?

Now take a step back. What is your one overarching goal for your child?

I’m sure many of you have great ones. Some folks just want to figure out the whole couponing system and some of you may not have a goal at all.

I’ll share mine.

Currently my children rely on me for guidance and instruction. My goal is to have my children grow in their relationship with Christ so that they rely of Him and grow in relationship with Jesus. More of Jesus and less of me. Eventually, they will leave my home and I want them rooted with Christ when they do.

Every correction points to Jesus. Every encouragement is in relation to Jesus.

Any helicopter moms out there? I love the early years. I knew every experience my son had. He would point to a random object and say bla bla. I’d respond with “Yes it looks just like the butterfly from your new book”.

Flash forward 13 years and it’s just plain weird. I don’t want or need to know his every thought. If I did I’d be looking forward to a 50 year old man still living with mom completing his sentences. Ladies, that’s not healthy.

Let’s discuss the gift of identity for our children. So they truly know who they are so they can respond from that identity.

Example: Pornography is not allowed in my home. I take appropriate mommy action by telling my 13 year old what it is (yes we had that talk) and why it’s harmful to his mind and body. We fully discuss how God views him and how pornography halts God’s plan for him.

In addition, open the lines of communication (no matter how awkward) and talk about it regularly. Casual comments about TV, media, and clothing. My families favorite line of mine is “modest is hottest” I saw it on a T-shirt. Please feel free to use it often.

My goal to help set within each of my children their identity so that when negative temptations and peer pressures come, they will know it is wrong because it goes against who they are in their identity with Christ not breaking their super strict parents’ rules. So I want my son to say no to internet porn because he knows it will change the chemistry of his brain not because his mom has a rule against it. God gave us rules to protect us we need to share the rules and protection with our children.

The same method of speaking their identity into them can be done to clarify their gifts, talents and love language.

First, I discover where God has gifted them. Then I speak into that truth. If they are resourceful I say…”Daughter you remind me of Ruth. She was loyal and able to find food where others couldn’t.” OK many times its a total stretch, but I get to share the gospel stories and build them up at the same time. Win Win

I speak truth to correct…
If my son is tattling on a fiend, I speak truth into his identity saying God has made you very insightful and aware of the world around you. That is a gift. Use your gift to tell people about the good you see them doing, not the negative.

Encourage the identity God gave them.

My daughter has an intense personality. She is wildly loving and equally explosive. When she is older I want her on my side in any conflict. This is how God made her. He didn’t make her like me (I’m a people pleaser who dislikes conflict). She’s not at all concerned if her actions are not pleasing someone and I think she likes the drama. Instead of trying to change her God given identity. She was born this way! I encourage the Christ in her. I don’t lie and tell her how sweet she is acting. I speak truth by telling her how wonderfully passionate God has made her. One night was telling the kids the story of Shadrack, Meshack and Abendago. My son responded to the story saying “wow mom if that ever happens to me, I hope I’ll have the faith not to bow down. my daughter looks at him weird and says If that ever happens to me (insert head bobbing), I’d kick that statue down and beat it up. (Yes, I want her on my side in the nursing home).I constantly speak truth and tell her how God has poured passion into her and how He loves her passion. Her passion is a God given gift. I’m also trying to soften her edges, because that’s the mom he made me to be.

Give your children the gift of who they are in Christ. Show them that they were fearfully and wonderfully made. They are not an accident. They were made by God and He will use them to accomplish great things for his Kingdom.

I’ve been a mommy for 13 years. The most challenging and rewarding part for me is learning how God has gifted each child, then with that knowledge speak life into each child so they can live out of their giftings and not their weaknesses. ~ Marina Wright

“My child, obey the teachings of your parents.” ~Proverbs 1:8

Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. ~ Proverbs 22:6 NLT

Totally Rad Contentment

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Let’s take a very short and quick look at the Sermon on the Mount with the emphasis just on verse 5.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
Call me simple minded or elementary. I like things to be broken down in an easy understandable way. I tend to look over and see how The Message translates certain verses. My husband would say the Message passages should all end with the saying “totally radical dude”. He prefers the versions that
are not quite so elementary. Well, different strokes for different folks is always my answer to that!!
So those who want to go with me to The Message, come along:
“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.”
That is totally radical dude!!!
How hard it is for us especially as women to be content with who we are!!! No more or no less!!! Yikes a doodle!! That can NOT happen on our own. At least not in my meek weak little self!!!
So I must ask for God’s favor and send up a little prayer for that one to happen. (This must be done daily for
likely success and stick a tude!!)
Lord,
Help me to be content with who I am. After all, You created me perfectly just the way you wanted me to be. It is only because we live in a fallen world that I may have picked up some annoying hindrances that block me from becoming who I was created to be in Christ. Show me those things that I need to “kneel down” and lay at your feet so that I don’t trip and fall on this road to contentment. Thank you, Jesus that you took all my sins, and imperfections to the cross and died so that I could be free to live.
Isaiah 43:4-6
(prophecy spoken in Isaiah about the Son of a Man who would come and
take away the sins of the world)
***The Message again
” The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,
a scrubby plant in a parched field.
There was nothing attractive about him,
nothing to cause us to take a second look.
He was looked down on and passed over,
a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
One look at him and people turned away.
We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
Through his bruises we get healed.
We’re all like sheep that’ve wandered off and gotten lost.
We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.”
Totally rad!!!! I am blessed to walk out this journey of discovery of who I am in Christ by daily walking side-by-side with you, Jesus and inheriting the kingdom of contentment along the way!
Amen
***Now I am a proud owner of things that can not be bought. Bonus points: they were free, now that’s bargain shopping!!
Matthew 5:5b

Light On,
Kelley Allison
John1:4-5

The Right Way

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Which way are we gonna go??? Seeking God in prayer and in His Word is a sure way to get ourselves on the right track. I always end up going back to my way, but I’m thankful for the Yield, Stop, Detour, One Way and Caution signs along the way to get me where I need to go!!

We can make our plans, but The Lord determines our steps. ~Proverbs 16:9 NLT

~Stephanie Wanic
#GodsBeautySecrets #BeautyQueenWisdom

Surrender

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Your Mommy’s Alright,
Your Daddy’s Alright
they just seem a little bit weird…..

I loved me some Robin Zander & Cheaptrick back in the days.

Surrender
Surrender

But dont give yourself away….

Have you ever looked at the stance of someone who is surrendering?
Like on TV or Newspapers that portray people standing with their arms outstretched up high or on their knees with their arms bowing down low towards the ground. Policemen shouting “On The Ground!” And finally they are completely face down eating some pavement. Usually next we see a borage of officers jump and hold them down till they are handcuffed and bound.

They have given up their stand of whatever they were doing, things weren’t quite working out for them anymore. There is nowhere else to run and hide. They are now in a state of surrender, at the mercy of their captor.

I started to think of that is exactly the same stance for how we are when we come to the Lord and Worship.

I used to be a no hands lifter worshipper. Nope, I sang and would clap but that hand lifting stuff got a little weird for me.
Then I would lift my hands halfway no full on arm pit winking at my neighbor stuff.
Then eventually I progressed and would throw caution to the wind and let my arms raise all the way up my ole batwings flapping, hoping I had shaved my pits.

I have not gotten on my knees much in public, only a few times that I recall. I know I was desperate for a word or touch from God when I did and didn’t care who was watching.
I do that at home some and I have also gotten smack dab flat on my face eating the carpet when I have reached the end of my rope and am needing God to save me from myself. No one jumps on me or puts their knee in my back and no binding of my hands. Thank God!

I was the one binding my own hands – when I worship face down giving everything I got and am to God is when I actually feel the chains that held me bound start to disappear.

I think the more we love God and the closer we get to Him our surrender …our Worship …changes and we change. We finally let go of our control and let God take us fully captive. We don’t listen to Robin, as the song says, we instead take great comfort in being able to give ourselves completely away to God.

We raise our hands…we fall on our knees … and lastly we completely lay out face flat on the floor. We finally are willing to totally surrender our wills to God’s will.

There’s nothing weird about that.

What an awesome way to live!

Lord, forgive me for the times I offer you anything less than my complete and total surrender. I want to be filled so full with You that there is no room left for me and my rebellious spirit. Help me to release all control. I want to be a Jesus freak; not a control freak. Put me on my face before you. Make me, Mold me, Shape me into what You will. I surrender All! Thank You for your grace and the freedom to worship You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

~ XXOO Michelle Bollom